Before my transplant in May 2016, I had always tried to prevent Cystic Fibrosis from holding me back but problems always cropped up. Nevertheless, I was very outgoing and still went to University and tried to keep up with my friends. After a while my health was deteriorating despite me trying to do regular exercise and keep well. In September 2015 I was admitted to Papworth and found to have pneumonia and sepsis. Although the sepsis was treated, after months of treatment my lungs still weren't improving and very quickly required 24/7 oxygen to maintain my sats. Most treatment options had been explored and with no success. I was listed for transplant in the January of 2016 but the doctors were unsure if I would have success due to the severity of my infections. I tried to keep going by walking everywhere I could- the longer I could keep my lungs inflated and going the more chance I had at obtaining and surviving a transplant. Luckily, in May 2016, after 3 false alarms, I got the call for the perfect pair! 

The operation went well and after a relatively smooth recovery I was allowed home. I still kept my aim to be to push myself with physical exercise, not only to help my new lungs settle in but to re-build and heal my body and to maintain my psychological health too! Of course, there have been complications along the way, but I have a quality of life now that is richer than I could have ever dreamed of. I sometimes take a deep breath in and can only just remember how painful and shallow my breathing used to be compared to the long, deep and carefree breaths I take today. 

I decided to take up running, even though it was really pushing me and I wasn’t sure if I could ever run as I never had before. I set myself a target which felt miles out of reach- to run a 10k run less than a year post transplant. I didn’t care if I crawled it, I wanted to have a go though. I started walking every day and trying to do little bits of running where I could manage it. Race day came around very fast and I hadn’t even managed to run 10K before the day of the race. Eventually, I finished the race, with many breaks and with some walking too in under 2 hours. As I crossed the finish line and was given my finisher medal and top I thought a lot about my wonderful donor who gave me that opportunity and also about Papworth, who without I wouldn’t be taking carefree deep breaths and running 10K’s. The work they do is incredible and their teams cannot be faulted. I am grateful to them every day. 

Libby's next challenge is in April 2018 where she will take part in the Southampton ABP Half Marathon to show your support please visit her JustGiving Page